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Smith, G.J. Carlsson, I. (1986). Creativity and Aggression. Psychoanal. Psychol., 3(2):159-172.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 3(2):159-172

Creativity and Aggression

Gudmund J. W. Smith, Ph.D. and Ingegerd Carlsson, M.A.

We studied problems of identification in an experiment using a meta-contrast design. The first stimulus in the pair (A) was the word I shown subliminally. The second stimulus (B) depicted an aggressor and a victim facing each other. To manipulate the subject's identification, the subliminal A was flashed either on the victim or on the aggressor, or was completely withheld. Subjects were 28 16-year-olds of both sexes. They also took a perceptgenetic (PG) test measuring creativity and a test on anxiety and defensive strategies as revealed in the perceptual process (the meta-contrast technique or MCT). It was predicted that creative subjects would identify more openly with the aggressor than noncreative ones, when I was presented on the aggressor. Differences in the use of defenses were also expected. The results supported the predictions. It was concluded that creative subjects are more self-reliant than noncreative ones, more inclined to believe in the value of private impressions and ideas.

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